You know a company's oversold when its stock climbs higher on news that auditors have found $382 million in accounting errors. Then again, when you're talking about Tyco(NYSE: TYC), last night's announcement is a relative victory.

Rocked by CEO shenanigans, fiscal irregularities, and a nasty case of indigestion after a string of iffy acquisitions, the new optimism seems to indicate Wall Street believes it has overcome its checkered past. Once regarded as the poor man's General Electric(NYSE: GE) because of the conglomerate's knack for assembling a quality portfolio of diverse businesses, Tyco has made a poor man even poorer. The stock has surrendered nearly three-quarters of its value over the past year.

It's definitely welcome news for the company that the internal investigation failed to uncover fraud beyond the aggressive bookkeeping. Tyco has spent the last few years picking up hundreds of smaller companies. While the jaded can wonder if the frenetic shopping spree was simply a cover for financial trickery to keep the stock buoyant, most will agree that even the hodge-podge collection Tyco has amassed is worth something.

Even the most cynical analysts expect the company to earn at least $1.50 a share this fiscal year, and $1.75 a share come fiscal 2004. As the company trims its debt through asset sales and begins to earn back what previous management squandered, it wouldn't be all that surprising if this ugly duckling becomes one of the better performing large-cap stocks of 2003.